8th October 2012
Link with 5 notes
Symphysiotomy is a cruel and dangerous childbirth operation that unhinges the pelvis, severing the symphysis joint or, in the case of pubiotomy, sundering the pubic bones.
Ireland was the only country in the developed world to practise this discarded surgery in the mid to late 20th century.
Around 150 women survive today, many of them permanently disabled, incontinent and in pain. One baby in ten died during the process and a number were brain damaged.
Women were occasionally informed their pelvis would be broken, but most were not.
The knowledge that this was wrongful surgery came slowly and painfully, in fragments heard in the media or read in a newspaper. Accepting that one has been abused is difficult: denial is easier.
Now that the veil has been rent on these abusive operations, the Oireachtas should lift the statute of limitations for survivors, for a brief period. This was done for victims of sexual abuse, a far more difficult area to legislate for. There are no floodgates, only 130 or so mainly elderly women, standing, waiting, for justice.
Within the next two weeks the SOS group need to be heard by the Government in order to have their medical claims granted otherwise their case will close.